“Help is there, all you have to do is ask for it.”
This is what one of the people in my old ward said after he helped me move out. I hadn’t asked him or anyone else to assist me; he had seen me moving boxes and offered to aid me of his own accord. His statement and actions taught me an important lesson: it’s okay to ask for help.
Most of the time I try to do everything myself. I am fine with giving other people help, whether it be through service, donation, or loaning of capital, but I am reluctant to accept the same from others. I tell myself that I don’t want to be burdensome. As with many other of my character traits, I can trace this back to my childhood, where I was very independent from an early age.
But honestly, there are quite a few people who are willing to do you favors if you would just ask. Especially Mormons. It’s okay to give up some of your pride and ask for assistance every once in a while. I’m not saying that you should be a glutton of society’s aid and never do anything for yourself, but you don’t need to work all day and night doing every single thing for yourself if you can find help for at least a few of them. Especially if other people are more capable than you are. For example, while at college I find quite often that I need to go to the market for groceries. Unfortunately, the market is rather far away, and I don’t have a car. Instead of walking to the store or taking the bus, I can simply ask one of my roommates for a ride then next time they are heading in that direction.
This seems obvious. Of course I could just ask. But for some reason, I have trouble.
If we have a problem with asking for help, I think it is usually because we don’t want to inconvenience others. Remember – there are ways we can overcome most of this and still receive aid. What can we do? For one, it’s admirable to ask for help in a way that fits with the plans of your benefactor and makes things easier for him or her. We can also return favors by serving those who help us or simply passing along (for further study, see the Kindness Boomerang).
For those familiar with the doctrine of my Church, this idea has application there too. The Infinite Atonement is an endless fountain of help that we can tap into at any time. It costs nothing to ask for help and forgiveness from the Lord Jesus Christ and He will give you as much as you need to recover.
Consider the small amount of effort it takes to help someone else, and remember that every time you feel unsure about asking for your own small favor. People become happier by trading acts of service, and you and I can both help perpetuate this cycle.